April 3, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame softball team looks to extend its eight-game win streak this weekend as BIG EAST Conference opponents Pittsburgh and Seton Hall are each set for doubleheaders at Melissa Cook Stadium. The Irish, who have won 10 of their last 11 contests, carry the league’s longest active win streak while also holding the No. 3 spot in the conference standings with a 4-1 BIG EAST record.
“This team doesn’t look at how many total wins we have or how many games we can win in a row,” Irish head coach Deanna Gumpf said. “All they’re worried about is winning the next game, no matter who it’s against. They’ve been backed into a few corners this past week and I’m proud of how they’ve responded to the adversity – both at home and on the road.”
The Panthers went 1-4 last week, dropping a pair of doubleheaders to Syracuse and St. John’s, while securing a 2-1 non-conference win over Penn State on March 25.
Seton Hall went 3-1 after sweeping Georgetown and splitting a doubleheader with No. 14 Louisville. Junior pitcher Ashley Forsyth ﬂirted with a perfect game against the Hoyas in game two of the series, and finished with a complete-game two-hit shutout. The Pirates’ 6-5 victory over the Cardinals was the first win in eight tries all-time against Louisville.
Live stats, video and audio will be available for each game this weekend on UND.com. For up-to-the-minute results and highlights, sign up for IRISH ALERTS text-messaging services at UND.com.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
18-11 overall / 4-1 BIG EAST
[UND.com â€¢ BIGEAST.org]
14-15 overall / 2-6 BIG EAST
[PittsburghPanthers.com â€¢ BIGEAST.org]
Saturday, April 4 â€¢ 12:00 p.m. (ET)
Seton Hall Pirates
14-14-1 overall / 4-4 BIG EAST
[SHUPirates.com â€¢ BIGEAST.org]
Sunday, April 5 â€¢ 11:00 a.m. (ET)
Melissa Cook Stadium
University of Notre Dame â€¢ Notre Dame, Ind.
Live video / audio / stats: UND.com
â€¢ Notre Dame’s eight-game win streak is the longest since the 2008 season … the streak comes at a familiar point in the season, as the Irish rattled off eight consecutive wins from March 30-April 9 last year … the last 9+ win streak came during the 2007 campaign when the team posted 10 victories between March 22-April 1.
â€¢ One long standing record may be broken by the end of the 2009 season … the Irish hit 54 home runs in 61 games in 2002 … Notre Dame now has 30 home runs through 29 games this season … of the 2009 total, five of those home runs were hit during the first 14 games, with 25 more coming in the last 15 games … Notre Dame has hit home runs in the last 11 contests … seven games have been marked by multiple home runs, with a season-high four coming against Northern Illinois (April 1).
â€¢ Speaking of home runs, the Irish hit three in one inning against Northern Illinois … Linda Kohan, Heather Johnson and Katie Fleury homered in the fourth inning to spark an Irish scoring fest of nine unanswered runs … it was the third time Notre Dame recorded three home runs in one inning, with the first two occurring in 2008 … Kohan, Fleury and Christine Lux homered in the same inning during a home game versus Wisconsin (April 16) and the same trio duplicated the feat exactly one month later in an NCAA Tournament bout with Kent State … the last time Notre Dame hit four home runs in a single game was against the Badgers last season.
Valdivia Shreds …
Pitcher Jody Valdivia has not allowed an earned run over her last 17.0 innings from the circle, the longest streak of her career … the last earned run she surrendered came against St. John’s on March 22 … over that stretch, Valdivia has struck out 18 batters and recorded her first career save against Northern Illinois (April 1).
Stretching From First …
With a .993 career fielding percentage and 1,013 putouts, first baseman Christine Lux has been a steady performer for the Irish defense … her fielding percentage ranks second all-time even though the sure-handed corner coverer committed her first error of the season against Northern Illinois on April 1 … it was her first error in 59 games … Lux is fifth all-time in career putouts and trails current Irish assistant coach Kris Ganeff (1,040) in the record books.
How Hot Is Hot?
Eleven of freshman Dani Miller’s last 13 hits have been for extra bases (seven doubles, four home runs) … she has a slugging pct. of 1.000 over the last 12 games (32 total bases, 32 at-bats) … Beth Northway has posted a .625 batting average, 1.250 slugging pct., and an on-base pct. of .750 in the past six games … through the first 14 games of the season, Christine Lux had a batting average of just .189 without a home run and four RBI … in the last 15 outings, Lux has been hitting .405 with seven home runs and 22 RBI … her career home run total of 25 is sixth all-time … Sara Hayes (1992-95) is fifth with 26 home runs, and career-leader Jarrah Myers’ (1999-2002) total of 36 sits within legitimate striking distance for Lux.
Northway Slugs Way On Top of BIG EAST …
Senior Beth Northway was named the BIG EAST Conference Player of the Week on March 30 … the designated player earned the honor after her consistent bat helped the Irish run their winning streak to seven games with three conference wins at Georgetown and USF … Northway came through in pinch-hitting duties for Notre Dame with nine hits in 16 at-bats as the Irish posted a 6-0 record for the week … Northway hit for a .562 batting average with a 1.125 slugging percentage in the six contests, including a pair of home runs and three doubles … she had four multi-hit games, scoring seven runs and collecting seven walks … Northway connected for four hits in seven at-bats at USF to help Notre Dame secure its first ever sweep of the Bulls … at the time of the honor, Northway’s .500 batting average in league play was tied for sixth overall among BIG EAST batters while her 1.200 slugging percentage tied for first … the Kentwood, Mich., native began the 2009 campaign as a nonstarter and has emerged as one of the Irish’s most productive hitters this season … after her sophomore season she underwent shoulder surgery and converted her throwing technique from right- to left-handed.
Rising From the Pacific …
Seven unanswered runs helped Notre Dame dig itself out of an early 3-0 deficit to post a 7-3 victory over Pacific in the second day of the Judi Garman Classic … Christine Lux, Katie Fleury and Beth Northway each homered as Notre Dame recorded nine hits in the contest … Brittney Bargar got the complete-game win with five strikeouts while giving up six hits, and the Irish defense stood strong to help strand seven Tigers on base.
Booming the Sooners …
Notre Dame downed No. 9 Oklahoma, 4-3, on the opening day of the Judi Garman Classic hosted by Cal State Fullerton … the Irish sat on a 3-1 lead but committed three errors in the top of the seventh, though Oklahoma saved its lone error for the bottom of the seventh to help give Notre Dame the win … the victory was Notre Dame’s first against a top-10 opponent since downing No. 5 Tennessee in 2005.
Extra Jorgensborg, Please …
Brianna Jorgensborg was named the BIG EAST Conference softball player of the week on March 9 … Jorgensborg put together one of the most prolific slugging stretches in Notre Dame history at the UNLV Invitational and finished the four-game invite with a 1.889 slugging pct. which came courtesy of three triples and two home runs in nine at-bats … her .556 batting average led Notre Dame throughout the weekend … Jorgensborg tripled in three consecutive contests, becoming the first player to accomplish the feat in the 21-year history of the program … she also had two home runs.
In a home-opening doubleheader sweep against Toledo (w, 15-0 / w, 9-1): Notre Dame moved to 19-2 all-time in home openers, winning its last 12 … the two losses came in 1992 and 1997 … the Irish posted the most runs in a home opener (15) and the most runs in a doubleheader (24) since 2003 … first back-to-back five-inning wins since 2004 … first five-inning home opener … first home opener at Melissa Cook Stadium … Sadie Pitzenberger scored a career-high four runs in game one against Toledo … Christine Lux had five hits – including two home runs and two doubles – to pace the Irish … her 13 total bases yielded a single-day slugging average of 2.167 … Dani Miller had two doubles and one home run in her home debut.
Holy, Holy Toledo!
Trailing by a 1-0 count in game two against Toledo, the Irish put up a nine-spot in the bottom of the fourth to secure the victory … ironically, Notre Dame had scored a total of nine runs in the fourth inning of its last 19 games combined, doubling that output against the Rockets … the Irish scored seven runs in a single inning against Sacramento State (Feb. 21) earlier this season … last year, Notre Dame scored nine runs in one inning against Charleston Southern (March 14) only to score 10 – tying the school record – in the third frame during a rematch with the Buccaneers one day later.
Been Around the World …
An 18-game road trip that included stops in four states (Alabama, California, North Carolina and Nevada) and featured six ranked opponents came to an end against Toledo on March 18 … since starting the season at No. 1 Alabama, Notre Dame has faced No. 5 Stanford, No. 5 UCLA, No. 9 Oklahoma, No. 12 Arizona and No. 6 Arizona State.
Three Times As Nice …
UC Santa Barbara (March 8) had two runners on base in its half of the seventh when Tiffany Wright flew out to Alexa Maldonado in center field, who started the first leg of a triple play by throwing to Katie Fleury at second who relayed the favor to Christine Lux at first to end the game in not-so-routine fashion … it was the first triple play in Notre Dame history.
Maldonado In Palo Alto …
First-year outfielder Alexa Maldonado had her coming-out party at Stanford’s Nike Invitational … after not recording a single hit in her first four games with the Irish, Maldonado went 5-for-10 with a pair of multi-hit affairs against Stanford and Sacramento State … she scored a pair of runs and hit two triples over the four-game stretch at The Farm.
Flying Past the Hornets …
Notre Dame’s offense exploded during a Feb. 21 affair versus Sacramento State … in the 11-0 blanking of the Hornets, Notre Dame buzzed through with a seven-run seventh inning courtesy of six hits in the frame … each of the six hits were singles … last season, Notre Dame posted totals of 10 and eight runs in separate innings against Charleston Southern … Heather Johnson had a career-high four hits in four at-bats and scored her first run of the season against Sacramento State … she also drove home four scores.